Tag Archives: miami

On the Trail Again

On the first day of September, my Acer computer crashed. Although my files were backed up externally, I was well on the way to learning a brand-new computer, a brand-new operating system, brand-new software with upgrades, updates, and more importantly, money.

A new Dell computer was supposed to arrive over the Labor Day weekend. At least, that’s what Dell promised. But after a business day came and went, a computer geek gave me the bad news: It won’t arrive for seven weeks.

That’s when Creator (and Alice) stepped in. Next to Alice’s mirrored closet is a working computer with the same operating system. Since her connection with the electronic world still worked, could we find a way to marry our two computers, including my data?

I posed the question to a local (Longview) nerd, whose employer, Hamer Electric, makes IT house calls. Pictured above is Michael Bryan, who worked in my townhouse to cause my words and equipment detailing a life’s journey flow better than before.

After a 33-day departure from Chapter 14 of my book, and after absorbing a quick consultation about the correct functionality of using different backup programs, I’m humming away. I’m on the trail again!

This time, my life is enhanced by Alice’s Rolls-Royce of a computer. And you guessed it; her spirit will live in the words I type. What more could I want?

Accordingly, I continue my book’s journey to honor love.

Fighting for Women’s Rights

Nancy Pelosi’s appearance on Steven Colbert’s show Wednesday night reminded its audience to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. The 19th Amendment was added to the Constitution exactly one century ago, and Pelosi’s message reminded me what I once accomplished for women.

Perhaps the unfairness of how men publicly denigrated women was why I got involved. Forty-two years ago in South Florida, I ran for president of the Greater Miami Junior Chamber of Commerce, otherwise known as the Jaycees. I had turned 35 years old, become a senior member of the organization, served as the chapter vice president, and was in line to rule over its civic contributions for a year before becoming a “greybeard”; i.e. ineligible for full membership.

Something was blowing in the political winds, however. Before the election of new officers could take place, members of the National Organization for Women presented a compelling argument to have women participate fully. I was moved by their pleas, and I ran on the platform of giving women the right to vote.

I didn’t overcome the opposition nor win the election, but future peers at The Miami Herald paid me the ultimate honor on August 11, 1978. Calling me a “suffragist,” using the above photo that a Herald photographer took mere days prior, the morning metropolitan newspaper recognized my effort to admit women to the organization so they could be fully recognized as voting members. The story ran on the front page of its Living Today section. And NOW recognized me with a Certificate of Appreciation that I hold dear.

Then the “snapper to the capper.” Six years later, on Independence Day, 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its ruling that Jaycees nationwide must accept women as full voting members. Just imagine my elation to an event George Orwell never proclaimed regarding a future world.

I saved a copy of that article (of course), scanned the deteriorating newsprint and would be happy to share it via email. Because the Herald’s stories are subject to copyright protection and I do not seek permission yet to print that article, I abide by legal requirements accorded to the copyright holder. If you want to see and/or read it, send me a comment, or write to mason@masonloika.com.

This August, we celebrate a milestone. By telling my story of recognition, I acknowledge what one person of conviction can accomplish.

You don’t have to be a woman to support women’s rights. But consider the flip side when men take up the fight. By definition, championing women’s rights is the most chauvinistic thing a member of the male gender can do. But I don’t hear any women complaining about chivalry. Perhaps it’s a necessary evil?